On Nov. 2, 2022, representatives from Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front signed a landmark peace deal that could end one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. In this lesson, watch the videos below and learn more about the deal, the African Union, and why many regional leaders are seeking “African solutions for African problems.”
What’s the Deal?
- How long did the latest round of peace talks last before an agreement?
- When did the war break out? Who was fighting?
- Which city were the talks held in, and in which country is this city located?
- How many people died due to fighting and disease in the region?
- According to Fahmida Miller, how much confidence is there that the agreement will hold? Why?
- What is humanitarian aid, and how does the agreement seek to provide it?
A map showing Ethiopia's location in the Horn of Africa with the northern Tigray region highlighted. The blue arrow shows the flow of refugees into neighboring Sudan. Photo Credit: OSM
Learning About The African Union
The African Union played a vital role in facilitating the peace deal between Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front. Learn more about the African Union in the video below, then answer the questions
Continental Bodies: What Is the African Union?
- When was the African Union founded?
- Which organization did it originate from, and what was its purpose?
- How many member states are in the African Union?
- Where are its two political centers?
- What are some of its major functions on the continent?
Three Capitals, One Country
Did you know Pretoria is just one of three capital cities in South Africa? What are the other two? Learn more about South Africa’s three capitals from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Classroom Discussion 1: African Solutions for African Problems
In the first video, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo mentions “African solutions for African problems.” What do you think this means? Political economist George Ayittey argues that foreign solutions from previous colonial powers, or other world powers such as China are not viable in Africa because they were either “imported” or “dictated,” and that it’s time for Africans to take things into their own hands and make use of their vast resources to solve continental troubles. Watch the brief clip of Ayittey discussing his argument, then use the focus question below to facilitate a classroom discussion. Watch the video from 2:50 to 4:50. Note: This video talks about sensitive political issues and is intended for high school students.
Africa has a long history of colonial interference from Europe and other foreign actors. As Ayittey argues, many on the continent are pushing for a policy of African solutions for African problems; however, there is another side of the argument that supports the idea that international actors like the European Union are obligated to provide aid, whether it be humanitarian, economic, or military to help in the redevelopment of Africa because of the complex colonial history shared between the two. Which side do you think makes a more convincing argument?
Classroom Discussion 2: Regional Biases in Media Coverage
In the United States, we often see daily updates about the ongoing war in Ukraine, but there is a lack of updates from what is technically one of the most devastating wars in the world right now in Ethiopia. If there is time, read this article from NPR to learn more.
Why do you think we see more coverage of the Russia-Ukraine War?
Lesson Plans on International Politics
Find more resources on international politics and how they relate to your students with our free collection of preK-12 lesson plans and teaching resources.
Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, video games, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community.He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from Americ